Of course, it might be fairly obvious that a name as cool as Vin Diesel is a stage name, but it was certainly a unique choice. Diesel was born as Mark Sinclair but chose to leave his given name behind in favor of the name Vin Diesel.
The name was a bit more steely and intimidating for his job as a bouncer at various New York nightclubs. His choice of “Vin” for a first name came from his mother’s maiden name of “Vincent.”
Celebrities with longer names often choose to shorten them if they think it will better their career. Nina Dobrev, the actress best known for her role in “Vampire Diaries,” was born in Sofia, Bulgaria as Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva.
After immigrating to Canada and pursuing ballet, dancing, gymnastics, and a career in acting, Nikolina decided to shorten her name so it might be easier to remember and spell. Her older brother (Alexander Konstantinov Dobrev) decided to keep his original name.
Not Just Nickname
The actor best known as “Jon Snow” on “Game of Thrones,” Kit Harrington was born as Christopher Catesby Harrington, but didn’t know his full name until he was eleven! His family had always called him by his nickname, “Kit,” but he did not realize it was a nickname until his teachers corrected him at school.
He was actually shocked to know his full name was Christopher! The nickname stuck with him, however, and he decided to keep it as his name when he went into acting.
Over the Hill
The country songstress was first known as Audrey Faith Perry. She then chose her middle name as part of her stage name, but the surname “Hill” actually came from her first marriage to Daniel Hill. It was after her first marriage that her career was really solidified so, even after her first marriage dissolved, she didn’t want to change the name that fans knew her by.
These days, she is enjoying marital bliss with fellow country music star Tim McGraw and has been for over two decades!
Alicia Aguello Cook was looking to change her name and resorted to the dictionary for help. She knew that she wanted a name that reflected her love for music, but her mom ultimately impacted her final decision.
Her mom did not approve of her first choice. Eventually, she stumbled upon the word “Keys” and was inspired. “It’s like the piano keys. And it can open so many doors.” And so Alicia Aguello Cook became Alicia Keys.